Hello dear readers,
It’s Wednesday, and that means it’s time for a rant. There’s been a lot about bullying in the news lately. My friend Cat Connor raised the subject in her blog this week, and she mentioned teasing as one of the forms of bullying.
I’ve always had a problem with teasing. Any man I’ve dated has found this out, sooner or later. Has anyone ever felt good about being the subject of teasing? Probably not. As far as I’m concerned, “teasing” is just a way of saying mean things about another person under the guise of being playful or funny.
I come from a long line of teasers. Many people in my extended family–especially my beloved grandmother, who had a wicked tongue–would rib others about their weight, hairstyles, figures, significant others, driving ability–you name it. If you were the target, you were expected to laugh it off. Suppose it struck too painful a nerve, and you got defensive? Well, you could expect the usual response:
I was just teasing.
In other words, it’s your fault that you can’t take a joke. But is teasing ever really a joke? To my way of thinking, it’s a get-out-of-jail-free card for anyone who feels like being nasty.
A lot of bullying starts with “teasing”. I’m sure my friend in high school didn’t find it too funny when the boys mooed at her, but they were just teasing. I didn’t like it when my father made disparaging comments about my legs when I was a teenager, but he was just teasing. And teasing definitely made Seth Walsh’s life a living hell.
What do you think, dear readers? Have you been the target of teasing? Is there ever a case when you think teasing is okay?